Udall ‘disappointed’ in Reid decision to scrap climate bill

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall Thursday reacted with “disappointment” to the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pull the plug on a comprehensive climate bill that had been lingering on life support for months anyway.

With nowhere near the necessary 60 votes to put a price on carbon emissions or set an aggressive national renewable energy standard (even on utilities only instead of the entire economy), Reid instead will introduce legislation aimed at job creation and implementing reforms to prevent another Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Here’s Udall’s entire statement on Reid’s decision:

“There are many things to like about the legislation Senator Reid plans to introduce next week. BP’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has revealed dangerous gaps in our ability to respond to drilling accidents. Senator Reid is correct that any energy legislation we pass should hold BP and other companies accountable. I’m pleased that he has made it clear today that he will move forward with a bill I helped shape to prevent such a spill from happening again. This is a step in the right direction.

“I’m also very pleased that Senator Reid intends to include a measure I have advocated for years, which would invest in the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a 40-year-old program that uses revenues from oil and gas development to purchase special land for conservation. Congress has chronically failed to keep its promise to ensure that as we drill for oil and gas, we also set aside land for hunting, fishing and recreation. There’s no greater example of the kind of success this program can have than the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, which was made possible in part thanks to the LWCF. I’m absolutely certain that Americans will embrace future efforts to conserve our nation’s treasured places when we give this program its due.

“Finally, Senator Reid has also made it clear that we must move forward with incentives to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Both are critical steps to rebuild our economy and strengthen our national security.

“But while I’m pleased that we are addressing several immediate concerns through this legislation, today is a disappointment. Despite numerous efforts to reach out and work across the aisle by many Senators – including myself – my Republican colleagues have put politics ahead of our country’s economic future and our national security, and they’re preventing us from moving forward on a comprehensive clean energy bill.

“We’ve seen wake-up calls in the form of the BP oil spill, the economic recession, and the disturbing changes in pollution levels across the country. It’s time to stand up and act. We can’t sustain our leadership as a world economic and national power if we let ourselves fall behind China, India and Europe – and it would be a tragedy if we did so simply for short-term political gains.

“I have called on Congress to pass a cap on greenhouse gases that pollute our air and water and to establish a strong renewable electricity standard, among other steps, to secure our position as a leader in the clean energy economy. And I will continue to fight for such legislation this year.”

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